- University of Edinburgh
- United Kingdom
About Shona Jane Lee
Channels contributed to:On the Road
Somehow, I have also never understood the undue importance which is being accorded to PoC tests. Developing POC tests for each and every etiology in a clinical microbiology lab itself would be a stupendous task. But, at the same time, somehow I do not feel like accepting that too much emphasis on PoC testing is depriving the laboratories of the funds/investments. I think these issues need a larger debate. Nevertheless we do need to de-glamorize the PoC testing a bit.
Thank you for your comment . I absolutely agree that this is a complex issue that warrants deeper debate than my post offers, and I hope that this piece can be read as a part of a wider discussion that is taking place among the global health community on how much emphasis is placed on discrete point of care tests. Whether this happens at the expense of investing in centralised laboratory capacity seems to depend on regional priorities, and I'm sure isn't the same across all disease programmes. You are right that perhaps I have framed the issue too broadly and failed to take these local nuances into account. I would be keen to learn more about how this is viewed from the standpoint of specific countries, and how decisions on diagnostic investment are informed at this level. The issues raised throughout the course at McGill by those in the business of developing diagnostic devices seem to suggest that an over-emphasis on PoC in the global diagnostic agenda has deterred funders from investing in core lab infrastructures, and nudged investment toward simple, single-disease solutions. However this doesn't necessarily apply to how countries themselves prioritise diagnostics strategies, and perhaps there are lessons to be learned from how infrastructure is either augmented or excluded by PoC devices across different settings.